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This pattern is usually used in combination with the Workflow by workflow pattern. The New orders pattern is also often relevant.


The system being built contains one or more important workflows. A special case of this pattern is when the workflow plays out over a long time frame making it possible for releases to follow the workflow from start to finish.


Develop features that support one of the steps in one workflow. Expand to other steps in subsequent releases.


  • Greatly reduced MRP
  • Relatively easy for users to deduce which system a particular workflow item is being handled by.
  • If a follow the workflow approach is used features are developed in a just in time manner.


  • Integration between new and old system can be tricky.
  • Release dates tend to harden with a follow the workflow approach. Once the first release is in production subsequent releases must keep pace with the workflow.


Systems that handle applications for funding (research applications, grants, scholarships). See the Research application system case study.

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